August 9, 2023
Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,
I am writing to let you know that Kimberly Verstandig has informed me she will be leaving her position as vice president for Advancement this month to pursue a new opportunity as a fundraising consultant. Her last day will be Aug. 31.
Kim has served Conn since 2017 as one of the most successful chief Advancement officers this College has known. A strategic thinker and results-oriented leader, she has overseen all aspects of the College’s multi-faceted fundraising and alumni and parent engagement efforts with passion, enthusiasm, and analytical rigor. The vision she has brought to her work has led to a record of notable accomplishment as well as greater financial strength for the College.
Among her most significant achievements was the work she did with President Bergeron, campaign chairs Robert T. Hale, Jr. '88 P'20, Pamela D Zilly '75, and Bradford Brown P'12 '15 '20, and current and former members of the Board of Trustees in developing the Defy Boundaries campaign, the largest and most successful campaign in Connecticut College history.
Under her leadership, the College not only saw five record-breaking fundraising years, but also recorded six of the largest individual gifts ever received, of $10, $15, $20, and even $30 million. Overall, the effort has brought in more than $100M in support for the endowment; $50M for financial aid; and $60M for transformative capital projects to enhance the arts, athletics, and other signature academic programs. In 2018, Kim worked with the vice president for Information Services on a major IT conversion to Salesforce, one of the most sophisticated constituent management tools on the market, bringing greater professionalism to the fundraising endeavor. In 2021-22, while the College was searching for a new vice president for Marketing and Communications, Kim also served as interim chief communications officer.
Perhaps even more impressive than these notable achievements is the level of care, compassion, and sheer love for Conn that has defined Kim’s work with senior colleagues, trustees, alumni and parent leaders, faculty, and students. A former athlete with a competitive spirit, Kim is a team builder in the best sense of the word, with the ability to rally people under a common cause. And as a parent of a recent graduate from the Class of 2023, she fully understands what is at stake. I saw this first hand during my four years on the Board. The College has benefited greatly from her intelligence, vision and unique spirit and I know she will be missed.
I am working closely with Kim to identify the critical skills we’ll expect from an interim appointment. Similar discussions will occur with trustees and key members of the Conn community. I hope to make a decision relatively soon. Much has been accomplished under Kim’s leadership and we will seek the best talent to guide us in the future.
In the meantime, I hope you will join me in thanking Kim for six years of extraordinary leadership and wishing her well on her future endeavors.
Les Wong, Ph.D.